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Finding and using free fonts

Feb 01, 2009, 11:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)

"Designing free, general-purpose typefaces and font tools, this loosely organized group of typographers is starting to make graphic design on FOSS easier, and to give ordinary users a more aesthetic desktop. The only catch is that you sometimes have to dig to find the free typefaces and tools, and knowing how to use them appropriately frequently requires expert knowledge about what to look for.

"Free fonts have been released under a variety of licenses. As the Free Software Foundation points out on its license page, standard FOSS licenses like the GNU General Public License (GPL) are not really designed for fonts. In particular, the fact that fonts are embedded in a document means that the GPL is suitable only if the document is also released under the GPL unless an exception is added to the license.

"Another problem is that many font designers do not want to see their work bundled on a CD by a third party. To provide at least a token solution to this concern, many free typographers now favour the SIL Open Font License, a GPL-compatible license developed by SIL International, a Christian academic organization concerned with literacy and the preservation of minority languages."

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